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By David Pratt

This publication is a entire learn of political proposal on the court docket of King Alfred the good (871-99). It explains the extreme burst of royal realized task excited about artistic translations from Latin into outdated English attributed to Alfred's personal authorship. an entire exploration of context establishes those texts as a part of a unmarried discourse which positioned Alfred himself on the middle of all rightful strength and authority. a massive subject is the relevance of Frankish and different ecu reviews, as assets of craftsmanship and shared issues, and for very important contrasts with Alfredian suggestion and behavior. half I assesses Alfred's rule opposed to West Saxon buildings, exhibiting the centrality of the royal family within the operation of strength. half II deals an intimate research of the royal texts, constructing far-reaching implications for Alfredian kingship, communique and court docket tradition. Comparative in process, the e-book areas Alfred's reign on the leading edge of wider eu developments in aristocratic existence.

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10 The voluminous body of surviving charters in the name of West Saxon kings for the period c. 830–c. 870 reveals a steady flow of land grants up to Alfred’s accession, if perhaps no further. 12 Whereas Mercian ambitions ended in failure, gradual West Saxon absorption of the kingdom of Cornwall may have contributed significantly to royal landholding, easing pressures elsewhere. Of necessity, land-management remained dominant among aristocratic priorities. Everyday logistics varied significantly according to the 8 9 10 11 12 Brooks, Canterbury, pp.

Nelson, ‘The Lord’s Anointed and the People’s Choice: Carolingian Royal Ritual’, in her The Frankish World, 750–900 (London, 1996), pp. 99–131, at 128–31. Innes, State and Society, pp. 253–4; Nelson, ‘Aachen’, pp. ’; Po¨ssel, ‘Symbolic Communication’, pp. 56–248. 13 The political thought of King Alfred the Great the character of aristocratic performance. All were necessarily reliant on encoded elite behaviour: Elias again assists by questioning the extent of its relationship to activity at the political centre.

5 A king’s thegn did not bear any specific form of authority, but enjoyed the benefits of the king’s personal protection (mundbyrd or borg), for which he might be expected to serve the king in any number of capacities. 7 Yet as vital agents of royal power, thegns could serve the king in further capacities. The office of king’s reeve seems generally to have been entrusted to king’s thegns, specifically attached 1 2 3 4 5 7 H. M. Chadwick, Studies in Anglo-Saxon Institutions (Cambridge, 1905), pp.

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